The Society for American Archaeology's official records are archived at the National Anthropological Archives (NAA). The records include those that promote understanding about the history of archaeology in the Americas, cover the organization's accomplishments and contributions to the major debates about practice, methods, and knowledge of the field, and record the history of the SAA.

In June 2022, the SAA received a generous donation to hire a professional archivist to organize, arrange, preserve, and describe over 200 linear feet of the official SAA records at the NAA. This work organized the paper records of the Society and produced the SAA Papers finding guide 1934-2022.

Contributors to the SAA archive include the following when acting in an official capacity:

  • the President, President-Elect, Secretary, Secretary-Elect, Treasurer, Treasurer-Elect, Board members, and Board-appointed Directors when an elected Board member resigns;
  • Committee, Task Force, and subcommittee chairs;
  • Interest Group leaders;
  • Editors of the SAA journals, newsletter/magazine, and SAA Press;
  • Board-appointed representatives (i.e., someone appointed to liaise with an outside organization); and
  • SAA staff members.

The Archive Committee reviews submissions of official records from SAA contributors, especially outgoing chairs of committees, task forces, and interest groups. Contributors are required to fill out a SAA Records Submissions form, which provides the SAA Archive Committee with key information about the submission. For videos, a video consent and release form must be filled out by all persons in the video in order for the video to be submitted to and made available for research at the NAA.

To date, the Archive Committee has written or updated the following policy documents that have been requested and approved by the SAA Board:

  • The Scope of Collection Statement (updated March 2024) defines the bounds of the present and future records included in the SAA archive. The Statement includes the SAA Document Retention and Destruction Policy, (see Appendix B of the Scope), to guide SAA staff on what official records to archive, retain or eventually destroy.
  • Best Practices for Committee and Task Force Chairs and Board Liaisons (updated June 2022) provides guidance on the types of official records that Committee and Task Force Chairs are responsible for archiving.
  • Interest Group Guidelines (updated June 2022) provides new guidance on the types of official records the leadership of Interest Groups are responsible for archiving.
  • Survey Project Oversight Policy (updated December 2021; see p. 106) provides newly established procedures for surveys and identifies the related official records to be archived at NAA.

Two articles about the work of the Archive Committee are now published in The SAA Archaeological Record:

While much has been accomplished, there is more to be done. Not least, the NAA has not processed SAA's digital submissions or additions made after 2023. Please consider donating to the SAA Archives Fund here to help us!